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October 1965

Rubella Infection of Human Leukocytes: Chromosomal and Viral Studies

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania (Dr. Mellman); the Wistar Institute (Drs. Plotkin and Moorhead); and the Fitzgerald-Mercy Hospital (Dr. Hartnett).

Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(4):473-476. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030493021

CURRENT interest in the effect of viruses on chromosome morphology in man has resulted from the observations made on cultured leukocytes from measles-infected patients1,2 and studies of human fibroblast cultures infected with simian virus 40.3,4 Hampar and Ellison had previously shown that in hamster cell cultures herpes simplex infection produced chromosome changes similar to those reported with x-radiation and chemical mutagens.5 A relationship between the cytologic changes noted with these virus infections of cells and neoplastic changes has been inferred from these studies.

It seemed tempting to seek evidence that rubella virus altered chromosome morphology in vivo and in turn to relate such effects to the teratologic disturbances noted in rubella-infected fetuses. We were particularly encouraged by the reports of a mild form of chromosome damage (chromatid breaks) after rubella virus infection of human diploid fibroblasts.6 In the recent rubella epidemic a number of infants have

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